PESHAWAR, Dec 14: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Agriculture Arbab Ayub Jan has said that four million olive saplings would be planted in the province in order to get self-sufficiency in cooking oil.

Speaking to a group of farmers at his residence here on Friday, he said that olive saplings would be distributed in different suitable areas of the province so as to get its produce in minimum time. He said that the government had launched Rs500 million mechanised farming plan to bring agriculture revolution. He said that problems like poverty, lawlessness and unemployment could be overcome with agricultural development, as Pakistan could grow different crops, fruits and vegetables round the year.

Mr Jan said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had initiated its 10-year agriculture plan ahead of other provinces, which would enable the province to get self-sufficiency in wheat crop. He said that the government was also focusing on cultivation of new fruit orchards.

He said that exports of fruits would be enhanced and new cold storages would be established besides installation of plants for grading and polishing of fruits.

He said that the government had already established two cold storages in Swat at a cost of Rs360 million with the financial support of Italy. The provincial government, he said, had also planned to increase production of off season vegetables and other crops in Kalam, Madyan, Bahrain, Matta, Sakhra, Chail areas of Swat district, Kaghan, Naran and Chatarplain of Hazara division. The minister claimed that the government had planned many new schemes in the province, but militancy was the main hurdle to their implementation. — Bureau Report

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